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January Issue 02

Jim - a first chapter
A story usually has a beginning middle and an end but what if mine does not.

... I saw her sitting by the bar with another woman.

So I begin but begin what? Not sure if this is a story and if it is what exactly is its purpose? A story usually has a beginning middle and an end but what if mine does not. Does that make it something other than a story?
Is there a point that I am trying to get over to you reading this, some kind of wisdom that I can impart upon you that will make you change the way you see things forever? Hell I may think a lot of myself but even I could not claim to be a sage. I just feel the need to tell you as though if I don’t get it down on paper it will consume me.
Why write it down anyway I never have done before? Is it just a combination of thoughts where truth and lies blur in the middle to give a partial story? Do I write to inform or to simply ease my troubled mind? I’m not a writer in fact I have never written anything in my life more complex than a cheque
Are they just thoughts? Surely a thought is just an action not carried out physically? By writing it down does it make it more than a thought, as if in some way it turns it into an action? How is that possible when we interpret things we read differently? Will you read this and think of it as an action or a thought?

How much truth will actually finish up on the paper and how much will I hide from you because my frailty will not allow me to impart what has happened in my life in case you judge me too harshly? It’s not even as if what you think should trouble me as I will never see your face or have to share a cab with you. Strange how we can even be affected by people we have never met or are likely to meet. Is that a human fault or is it simply another sign of my insecurity?

You see how difficult this is? So many questions that have no answers. Maybe I should just start and see where the words take me.

It’s hard to imagine that I have only been on this earth for 34 years. It feels at times that it has been more like 340 years. A long drawn out process that has proved painful but eventful, happy and sad so many things depending on the angle you judge it by.

It was a song that started this. Before you laugh think about it. How many songs have you heard in your life that have made you question, to think? If I could sing maybe this story would have been a song and not a story. Granted it would have been a very long song but perhaps a good song Driftwood floating in the dark, breaking into pieces, pieces.

One line, nine words changed my life so that it would never be the same again. Why could I not just be normal and have a mid life crisis like the rest of humanity. Can you have a mid life crisis at 33? When is mid life anyway? I had a friend who died at eighteen when was he given the chance to have a life let alone a mid-life crisis?

My life at that stage had taken several twists and turns like all of our lives. I had been on a plane off and on for some 14 hours and had finally arrived in Las Vegas. Fourteen hours to think and listen. I felt like Driftwood, in fact I was driftwood. 33 years old in a good job with a wife and young son, mortgage and plenty of bills. Sound like you? Tell me do you feel like Driftwood?

Something changed inside me on that flight. Hard to believe nine words and a 14-hour flight can change a man but change me it had. It was as though it clicked a cog in my mind that had been rusted for the past god knows how many years into gear again. Thoughts charging through my mind like a train one after the other. What is the meaning of life? Why were we all here? There has to be some kind of answer. Gods what gods? If there are any gods are they laughing now?

I was in Las Vegas for a convention. Computers. Same convention I had attended every year for the last…. Well a lot of years. Nothing too special another convention another row of endless meetings with a never-ending row of people who in truth I neither liked nor disliked. They were simply grey faces in a variety of suits. Apart from the hip young guys who wore jeans and t-shirts because they wanted to buck convention. That’s funny; your normal rebel would take to the road and go on save the forest marches. IT rebels wear jeans and t-shirts and even get their ear pierced!!! Citizen Smith eat your heart out you know nothing of rebellion until you have rebelled in the great IT arena.

I saw her sitting by the bar with another woman. She was truly the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. You knew I was going to say that didn’t you but she was. Her eyes shone and I was in love. Before you start I have never in my life fell in love after seeing a woman at a bar so don’t imagine I am some sad lonely guy who falls in love daily. Already I am defending myself why?
To try and make some inroads into this story we talked for while went to a few other places and as we parted for the night we kissed. Not a mouth open tongues at nine paces kiss just a kiss. But is not just a kiss. Something happened for both of us. The world did stop around us and all we could see was each other. A silence loomed before us, neither of us could talk we just stared at each other and wondered what the hell had just happened. She was gone in a heartbeat grabbed by a friend who didn’t like either the two guys or myself I was with.

The pain over the next 24 hours was unbearable. I tried to remember if I had told her what hotel I was staying in, I never went to the convention the next day but sat in my room by the phone waiting and praying it would ring. I had met the most amazing person and had let her go out of my life as quickly as she had come into it

It was the smell I will never forget. Difficult to describe to those of you who have never experienced it. Death has a smell regardless of what any of you think it has a clear and defined smell. Don’t ever mistake the smell with fear because they are too very different smells. He was lying face down and half his back was missing. Blood drained from him and ran over the concrete glistening in the sun. The medic ran up and told us to move so he could help. I remember thinking help? The only help he as going to need was on the other side. Sorry I didn’t explain I have jumped back a bit. Belize to be precise. You’ve joined my thoughts as I stare down on a member of 2 Para who was too lazy to clear his weapon and as a result has just managed to remove himself from the great scheme of things. What is the great scheme of things anyway and what is so great about it?

© Jim 2002 (An experimental first chapter - if you like it, email him)

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© Hackwriters 2002